Thai & Tapas in Torbay (Pt I)

Me and my mom have been visiting Paignton in Devon at least once a year for as long as I can remember. It has backdropped a large amount of my childhood holiday photos, and has become something of a home away from home for me. I think for those living in the UK, holidays here can be somewhat overlooked by people accustomed to going abroad – but this is an injustice to the pleasantries of the English Riviera. It’s a beautiful area…especially when it’s not raining.

Paignton harbour, approaching dusk

We’ve stayed in a fair selection of accommodation in Paignton – nice hotels, alright hotels, B&Bs, caravans, even in a tent one year (admittedly my least favourite). This year we spent 3 nights in a bed and breakfast (one of the few we haven’t visited before) – which meant we went out for dinner every night. I think eating out is a major part of the luxury of going on holiday, whether abroad or not; there’s just something great about not having to cook for yourself or wash up or whatever.

Lets cut to the chase – or should I say, the plate. On the first night, we went to a popular Thai restaurant. While we waited for our food, we crunched through some prawn crackers, served with a rich soy sauce. Unlike the thick white kind I’m accustomed to from Chinese takeaways, these were brown and thin and unforgivingly moreish.

Having been coaxed into ordering a starter by the waiter (there was a big party in so the mains would take a while), we shared some duck spring rolls with hoisin sauce, and I was certainly not disappointed by this choice. They were wonderfully crispy and sharing a small plate of them was the perfect to start off the meal and wet my appetite, especially as I wasn’t particularly hungry at the time (possibly for the first time ever).

I followed this with a chicken red curry stir fry and sticky rice. It was a beautiful crimson curry, fairly spicy but very flavoursome nonetheless, filled with all sorts of crunchy veg. The rice was served in a bamboo sticky rice box for that extra touch of authenticity.

My mom went for a Pad Thai – a nutty noodle and egg dish which apparently is one of the restaurant’s most frequently ordered. She wasn’t blown away by it – I tried a bit myself and it was somewhat bland but still alright; I remember having it a couple of years ago, the first time we came to this restaurant. Since my mom isn’t a big spice fan, this was a nice safe option for her.

The next night was just as enjoyable with out first visit to “Olive”, a fairly new tapas bar overlooking Paignton Harbour…

A morning paddle at Paignton beach

Continued tomorrow at 5pm GMT – subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Leave a Reply